Giving employee feedback is never easy. There is a fine balance that needs to be maintained between getting across your point in a clear concise manner and yet motivating your employees, instead of demotivating or bringing them down.
Constructive feedback works in tandem with employee appreciation to create a better, more engaged workforce. According to Harvard Business Review, 92% of employees appreciate constructive feedback and agree that it improves their performance.
Of course for feedback to work, it needs to be a two-way street. Managers as well as company leaders require feedback to really understand their employees, the pulse of the organization. Anonymous employee surveys are important to provide an unvarnished point of view of all the things that are working and all the policies that might not be working within an organization.
Implementing the right feedback strategy is ket to being able to deliver it in the most effective manner. Here are a few best practices to institute a great feedback policy at your workplace
- Ensure the feedback is constructive
When giving feedback, it is important to evaluate the reasons behind the feedback. Are you trying to provide helpful inputs to your employee or would it come across as harping on their faults? Would you be able to provide them with actionable steps to change things instead of blaming them?
These questions should be addressed by every manager when providing their employees with feedback. Even the most constructive feedback can be misconstrued and employees can have a negative reaction to it. Knowing the reason behind the feedback and knowing how the employee can improve makes it easier for managers to navigate the conversation.
- Provide specific examples
When managers cite specific examples or instances, it can help employees understand the shortcomings better than with generic remarks. Employees can then exactly pinpoint what, if anything went wrong, how things could have been handled differently, and how things should be handled going forward.
- Don’t let the moment pass
Did you notice a particular behavior in your employee or something amiss in a project that you needed to point out? Do it when the moment is still fresh rather than 6 months down the line. Don’t wait till the scheduled employee appraisals to provide your employee feedback, the employee might not even remember the actions you are pointing out. Waiting too long dilutes the effectiveness of the feedback.
- Provide regular feedback
In a similar vein, provide your employees with regular feedback. Schedule regular one-on-ones with them so that you can establish an open channel of communication. Bombarding your employees with a slew of feedback saved up for 6 months or a year will overwhelm them and make it difficult for them to implement change. Regular feedback helps employees implement it in a natural organic way in their work.
- Include employee appreciation
Feedback doesn’t necessarily need to be negative. Notice your employees doing something right. Make sure you noticed and appreciate their efforts. Everyone likes to be appreciated and positive feedback can serve as a great motivator for employees.
- Create a safe and comfortable environment
This goes without saying but your employees need to feel safe and comfortable at work. Even when providing them feedback, they should not feel attacked or criticized. They should feel comfortable enough to present their point of view in a situation and be able to speak up. A positive environment is essential for employee productivity and engagement.
- Listen to and act upon feedback from employees
As we mentioned earlier, feedback is a two- way street. Employees should be asked to provide anonymous, honest, unbiased opinions about their managers and the leadership at large. However, this should not just be a fruitless exercise to please your employees. Take the feedback, consider the inputs provided, and implement it when possible. When employees watch their feedback being taken seriously and implemented they are more likely to appreciate their managers and leaders.
Leverage technology to create regular surveys to provide your employees with anonymous, accessible feedback channels. We all are constantly learning from our mistakes. Providing your employees with feedback, if done constructively, can help them correct their mistakes, learn, and grow their career further. Feedback is often given a negative connotation and that is entirely unnecessary. Without feedback, employees will feel rudderless. They are more likely to be less engaged and less productive. Implement our steps and you will witness the change constructive feedback brings to your team and organization.